By Mark Gallagher

Vegas says Jay Wright is an 8-1 pick to jump from Nova to the Sixers coaching job, with Kenny Atkinson the fave followed by Sam Cassell.

And as hoops savant Seth Davis has pointed out on The Athletic:

It’s notable Wright hasn’t put out any statement or social media post removing himself from contention, the way Juwan Howard recently did.  For some odd reason, Wright has yet to call me to ask what he should do, so instead of waiting, I reached out to someone uniquely suited to offer him counsel: Iona coach Rick Pitino.

Rick Pitino was in a similar position twice during his career, and both times he said yes to the NBA. He left Providence in 1989 to take over the New York Knicks, and he left Kentucky in 1997 to coach the Boston Celtics. The Knicks job was a no-brainer, but Pitino has often expressed regret that he “messed with happy” when he left Kentucky.


Pitino told me Wright called him several years ago when the Phoenix Suns reached out, but he hasn’t spoken to him about the Sixers opening. What would Pitino tell Wright if he did call? “I would tell him not to take it,” Pitino said. “He has a terrific team at Villanova. He has a great lifestyle. And I think the Sixers would be a tough team to coach. There’s a reason why Jimmy Butler left.”